Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Does God hate sinners?

Does God hate sinners? No.

I’ve been exploring this question the last several weeks, and can come to no other conclusion. There is a group of believers who claim that God DOES hate sinners as well as their sin, and they point to verses such as Psalm 5:5-6 to justify their view (they also claim that those who claim God loves the sinners while hating the sin are deceived). But God’s hatred of evil-doers in these and other verses is not the human “hatred” which wants vengeance, but a righteous indignation by God against His creatures for their willfully disobeying His laws. His love is very much a part of this indignation, an indignation aimed at the evil actions and attitudes of the sinner.

Let’s look at two sections of scripture, the first in Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV):
Mat 5:43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
Mat 5:44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
Mat 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
Mat 5:47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
Mat 5:48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Here, Jesus tells us that we are to love our enemies—those who harbor ill-feeling towards us—so that “you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (v. 45). Specific examples of us loving our enemies versus loving only those who love us are given in v. 46-47, with Jesus’ concluding admonishment in verse 48, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v. 48). In other words, showing love toward specific enemies is a reflection of God’s love towards all, both the saved and unsaved. Some who believe that God hates sinners claim this is just a “general love towards mankind”—but the context, and the specific examples given by Jesus, make this argument ring hollow.

Next, let’s look at 1 John 4:19: “We love because he first loved us.” We show our love towards God by first and foremost accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior. So if God “first loved us,” this HAD to have been BEFORE we were saved, while we were still sinners!

In writing this, I am not seeking to “water down” the gospel message, which calls for repentance (turning from sin) on the part of the sinner for salvation in Christ. But the word “gospel” means “good news,” and a message that tells the unsaved, “God hates you” can’t be good news for anyone! (Plus, one person I discussed this issue with never really answered my question, when he claimed WE are COMMANDED to love sinners: so we love the sinners, while God doesn’t? Aren’t we supposed to be ambassadors for God to those lost in sin, according to 2 Corinthians 5:18-20?).

If you have any thoughts on what I have just discussed, just post them here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Elijah or Daniel?

Do we need new Elijahs … or new Daniels?
I came across this message on YouTube the other day from Bishop Frank Duprée of Living Water Church in North Arlington, NJ (I know of Bishop Frank, because he was my pastor while I was a teenager on Long Island). What intrigued me was his insight on how Christians should reach out to our nation. Many Christians want Elijahs raised up by God, he says, when we really need Daniels—the difference is whether our nation is backslidden or totally pagan. Give Bishop Frank a listen here and tell me what you think.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama's self-love: the LEFT is catching on?

Well, it’s been evident to those on the right of the political spectrum that President Obama’s actions and policies are driven by his self-love. But when the LEFT starts noticing …
Check out this monologue here from, of all people, Bill Maher. Yes THAT Bill Maher.

(Caution: a few of Maher's comments may be offensive. If you would rather skip the monologue, the gist of his message is below).

While you may not agree with his stand on the issues he mentions, Maher's central point about Obama worrying more about his TV image than anything else cannot be missed. President Obama, you KNOW you’re starting to sink in the public’s eye when a left-of-gauge celebrity wishes you would be more like your predecessor.

“…I don’t want my president to be a TV star, because TV stars are too worried about being popular,” Maher says in the monologue. And might I add, they become less worried about other distractions, oh, say, like the crises in Iran and North Korea, that can well threaten our nation’s security.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tiller's murder and pro-life "verbal violence"

In regard to the murder of abortionist Dr. George Tiller, I noticed at Matthew 25 Network their statement on the murder, which looks awfully similar to the White House press release (too bad President Obama didn’t express any “shock” and “outrage” over the countless unborn children snuffed out by abortion). In M25N’s release, I noticed a fact that was conspicuously absent. I took a leap of faith and left a response to the statement here, on the website.

Well, that was at about 4 p.m. CST; as of 6:45 p.m., my comment was, according to the website, “awaiting moderation.” Since the M25N moderator has yet to act on my response (maybe he or she is on vacation?), I’ve chosen to lend them a helping hand and post it below:

In your response to Dr. Tiller's murder, I noticed no words of commendation for the pro-life groups who immediately denounced the murder. Your statement reads like a mere reprint of the White House's statement. You won't get much "common ground" with pro-life groups when you make one-sided slams at their alleged "verbal violence."

So while M25N’s moderator gets done “moderating” my response, let’s consider the charge that the lone nut who murdered Tiller was not “acting alone,” according to the Obama Justice Department. Will this ominous “investigation” by Attorney General Eric Holder lead to laws against “verbal violence” that allegedly incites violence against abortionists? (Incidentally, I would like to know what “verbal violence” has been uttered by Focus on the Family, Concerned Women of America, the Catholic League, National Right to Life and other pro-life groups that denounced Tiller’s murder).

And as other commentators have pointed out, it’s interesting that Holder is assigning U.S. Marshals to abortion clinics, while no such precautions are taken for military recruiting stations in the wake of the murder of an Army private at an Arkansas recruiting station, by a Islamic fanatic (maybe Holder can investigate ties to the “verbal violence” that inspired the murderer of 24-year-old Pvt. William Long? Don’t hold your breath).

“A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people,” President John F. Kennedy warned. And it appears that we are seeing an Obama administration and its cheerleaders becoming more afraid each day of those who challenge their liberal orthodoxies (almost as afraid as M25N’s website is to post my comments)-- and acting to suppress those views.